Here we pay tribute to some now sadly deceased Yorkshire members of the Society and acknowledge their contribution.

Chris Marcus, 1947-2008

Chris Marcus moved to the Saddleworth area around 1998. He was already a keen member of the Letterbox Study Group and embraced with glee the milestones and other turnpike features of this locality. By 2007, he hoped to engage other inhabitants sufficiently to promote it as ‘Turnpike Country’ and wanted to host a Milestone Society meeting there. He spoke at our Hebden meeting again in April 2008 and at the beginning of August he led our Sunday walking group round Uppermill.  Chris was a keen walker despite some mobility difficulties and he pointed out interesting artefacts amongst the wonderful scenery. He also introduced us to a splendid ice-cream parlour, Grandpa Green’s, beside a lock on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Next day was his 61st birthday and two days later he was dead, having succumbed to another heart attack.

A fitting tribute was to be our ‘Pennine Ways & Waymarkers’ day, held at the Saddleworth Museum on 19th October.  Forty Milestoners, friends and visitors found their way to the Museum, which sits beside the canal and one of the many turnpike roads that converge through this dip in the Pennines.

Would Chris have been proud of our day? I’m sure he would have greatly enjoyed it! And we were fortunate to have known him; we’ll remember one of life’s true enthusiasts.  His colleagues on the A Level Archaeology course at Selby described him as a “warm, witty man” – we have lost a great supporter of our cause and a good friend.

Jan Scrine

Frank Minto, 1930 – 2018

On a bright crisp December afternoon, there was an excellent turnout for Frank Minto’s funeral at Barnsley Crematorium, honest and unpretentious like the man himself. Many of the attendees were cyclists.   Working at Rotherham Steel Works, Frank had joined a cycling club in 1948, doing long weekend rides to get fit. He had immediately volunteered to represent the club at meetings.  In 1969 he joined the team helping Christine in her third 24 hour time trial when she upped her own National Competition Record to 427.86 miles.   They married in 1973 and spent their honeymoon cycling round East Anglia. From 1967 until 2008 he held a number of National and District posts within the body organising road time trials.  After Frank was made redundant from his role as a metallurgist in 1985, he passed several GCSE courses and also studied with the Open University.

It was Frank and Christine’s love of photography, recording wayside artefacts including milestones (and drain covers!) on their many rides that brought them to the inaugural meeting of the Milestone Society at the Black Country Museum in 2000. Christine became the Yorkshire Recorder, eventually broadening her remit to Scotland, and Frank was a keen supporter. They took on the task of sorting the Diamond Collection of 1930s photo albums that had been given to the Society and Frank digitised these, producing a CD which is still available. Although a cycling accident in 2013 reduced his mobility, Frank continued to take a keen interest and their displays have always been a splendid feature at our Hebden meetings. He will be greatly missed and we extend our sincere condolences to Christine and their son Philip.

Jan Scrine

Margaret Hill, 1930-2021

Margaret Hill died, aged 91, after a couple of months of pain and distress.  She had fallen and broken her foot, then was diagnosed with heart failure and hospitalised.  She died at home with her sister Eileen taking care of her.  The private cremation was followed by a very well-attended memorial service in Huddersfield Parish Church on 18th October.

Margaret came from Huddersfield but spent much of her working life teaching biology, and as head of the department, at the Alderman Newton’s Girls’ Grammar School in Leicester, where she is remembered as a brilliant teacher and “much respected as she went quietly about in her white lab coat”, interested in “both the subject and also in her girls doing well” (tribute by Ann Grimes).

On retirement she returned to Huddersfield, living until her death in her old parental home on Greenhead Lane where she amassed a huge collection of many things, but especially walk books, leaflets and maps.  She was an enthusiastic walker, completing the Pennine Way and several other long-distance trails, leading walks around the local area, and volunyeering with the Kirklees Countryside Service.

She was also an enthusiastic Milestoner, a great supporter of our meetings at Hebden and our other initiatives, especially Crossing the Pennines.  In the early days of recording, she diligently completed many record sheets of milestones and other waymarkers – all recorded initially in an environmentally-friendly fashion on the backs of envelopes, bus-tickets, etc.  And she gave her first talk using Powerpoint (about gates and stiles) at one of our last Hebden meetings.

She was such an inspiration, that independent spirit !!

Jan Scrine